• Meet the Makers (Alternate Realities): Kelsey Boncato & Daniel Oldham; Frederik Duerinck

    Venture into the realm of Alternate Realities – hear from the creators of immersive and interactive reality experiences that open up new perspectives on the health of the planet.

    In this session:

    - Kelsey Boncato and Daniel Oldham discuss their Virtual Reality project, Forest, a journey through hand-drawn bristlecone pine trees to a soundtrack of earthy electro

    - Frederik Duerinck discusses his unique installation, Algorithmic Perfumery, a machine that uses Artificial Intelligence and personal data to create a unique scent for every visitor

    This event is part of the Doc/Fest Exchange programme bringing together a specially curated programme of free talks, films and conversations to revolutionise what makes a healthy planet.

    Supported by Wellcome.

    No festival pass or ticket required. All events at Doc/Fest Exchange are free and open to all.

  • Craft Summit: Short and Smart

    What are the aesthetics of filmmaking using smartphones? Is the way we make documentaries changing fast enough to adapt to the ways people are viewing them? Filmmakers coming at short filmmaking from different perspectives will talk about their own work, how the equipment they use changes what they can make, and how the way they make their films helps in finding their audience.

    This session will be BSL interpreted.

  • Craft Summit: Picturing the Planet

    Images of the natural world - and humankind’s impact on it - are a powerful way to raise awareness and encourage action. But does showing the beauty of the natural world detract from what we’re doing to it? What are the different ways to film environmental stories? In this session, cinematographers will discuss their approaches, and give us behind the scenes stories to their most memorable shots.

  • Reinventing the Celebrity BioPic

    Why choose the unlikely figure of Jade Goody to explore the subject of social change in modern Britain? How do Hollywood stars become receptacles for alternative narratives of World War Two? As part of a filmmaking trend that started with OJ Simpson: Made in America, this panel looks at how documentary makers are now looking past the obvious politicians, dignitaries and royals to the lives of unapologetically pop culture figures in order to uncover surprising and unconventional social and historical narratives about who we are.

    Speakers to be confirmed soon.

    Supported by Channel 4

  • Funding and Commissioning: Feature Documentary

    With everything solid melting into air, and the documentary landscape never more varied and complex, this panel asks leading commissioners, funders & distributors: how do independent filmmakers get creative feature length documentary work made and seen today? We'll hear what they are looking for, why they love the films they fund, and the advice they can offer to both emerging & established talent taking on the challenges of making feature length work.

  • A Conversation with Werner Herzog

    Arguably one of the greatest living filmmakers, who battled Klaus Kinski on the set of Aguirre, Wrath of God, dragged a ship over a hill for Fitzcarraldo and famously ate his own shoe on film after a losing bet, joins us to discuss his acclaimed career. His body of work includes over 60 films, on subjects as diverse as death row, Antarctica, the internet, volcanoes and bears, and his latest doc, Nomad: In the Footsteps of Bruce Chatwin, explores the life of the famous travel writer and is screening at the festival.

    Supported by BBC Arts

  • Real drama: What’s Next for the Access Doc?

    So you’ve got brilliant, hard-won access, now what? With fiercer competition for audiences, it’s what you do with that access that’s all important. We explore the ingredients needed for a hit series – from the inspiration behind the idea, to innovative approaches to storytelling. What are the secrets of turning access into a returnable brand, delivering compelling stories across platforms and pulling in the ever-elusive young audience?

    Supported by BBC

    This session will be BSL interpreted.

  • Desert Island Docs: Nick Hornby (CANCELLED)

    UNFORTUNATELY DUE TO UNFORESEEN CIRCUMSTANCES NICK IS UNABLE TO ATTEND THE FESTIVAL SO THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELLED.

    TICKET HOLDERS WILL RECEIVE FURTHER INFORMATION BY EMAIL AND A FULL REFUND.

    Nick Hornby, bestselling author and screenwriter, continues to be a feature of cinemas and bookshelves after 25 years. His most recent work, the comedy mini-episodic State of the Union directed by Stephen Frears, premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, and recent screenwriting credits, including An Education, Wild and Brooklyn have won him multiple Academy Award nominations. Best known for the novels Fever Pitch, High Fidelity and About a Boy, which have all been adapted into hugely popular films, Nick will discuss his own work and the documentaries that have inspired his writing.

    Supported by Off the Shelf

    Please contact us if you have any questions about access at this event:
    E: access [at] sheffdocfest.com
    T: +44 (0)114 276 5141

  • University of Sheffield presents: How to Pitch your Academic Idea

    Selected academics from the University of Sheffield will pitch in front of a live audience, showcasing their fields of expertise to a panel of development producers and broadcast TV commissioners. Each academic will receive feedback on whether their areas of expertise have the potential as a possible TV format or segment, and advice on how to present their ideas effectively to documentary producers and commissioners.

  • Meet the Makers (Alternate Realities): Darren Emerson; Tamara Shogaolu

    Venture into the realm of Alternate Realities – hear from the creators of immersive and interactive reality experiences that open up new perspectives on the health of the planet.

    In this session:

    - Darren Emerson discusses his 360 VR project, Common Ground, a journey through the Aylesbury Estate and a stark reflection on social housing, gentrification and social cleansing

    - Tamara Shogaolu discusses her 360 VR installation Another Dream, a heartrending story of two women forced to choose between love and their homeland of Egypt

    This event is part of the Doc/Fest Exchange programme bringing together a specially curated programme of free talks, films and conversations to revolutionise what makes a healthy planet.

    Supported by Wellcome.

    No festival pass or ticket required. All events at Doc/Fest Exchange are free and open to all.

  • Climate Stories: New Strategies

    Climate communication is more critical than ever before. This session, hosted by Isabel Shapiro (DocSociety), unpicks the strategy behind Doc Society's new Climate Story Lab initiative, inviting a panel of filmmakers and experts, including broadcaster and Wellcome Engagement Fellow Sara Keeney and Lauren Jones of the Sheffield Climate Alliance, to reflect on how radical collaboration and creative communication can make climate stories go further.

    This event is part of the Doc/Fest Exchange programme bringing together a specially curated programme of free talks, films and conversations to revolutionise what makes a healthy planet.

    Supported by Wellcome.

    No festival pass or ticket required. All events at Doc/Fest Exchange are free and open to all.

  • Meet the Makers: Power of Podcasts

    Journalists and documentary makers often get to the heart of the action on the ground, bringing different voices to feature in coverage of the news. Covering social movements and social justice present unique challenges in this regard. Join Elizabeth Cassin, the producer of Guardian podcast, Today in Focus and Jo Meek (Prison Radio Association) to explore the power of podcasts.

    This event is part of the Doc/Fest Exchange programme bringing together a specially curated programme of free talks, films and conversations to revolutionise what makes a healthy planet.

    Supported by Wellcome.

    No festival pass or ticket required. All events at Doc/Fest Exchange are free and open to all.

  • Updating the Classics: How Do You Refresh and Reinvigorate Factual TV?

    In an ever-crowded marketplace with FAANG disruptors and increased competition, a senior industry panel including award-winning producers and commissioners explore how to breathe new life into ever-popular fields of documentary, from the medical arena to police access documentary. How do you reinvent, cut through, and stand out?

    Supported by Channel 5

    This session will be BSL interpreted.

  • The Rest

  • Apollo 11 + Q&A

  • Meet the Filmmakers Drinks

    The Doc/Fest film programme team welcome you to gather at Tamper, where you can raise a glass or two to the talented directors and producers behind this year’s film programme. Share stories, share a drink, and share the rest of your week with these awesome documentary makers.

  • Danny + Q&A

  • Craft Summit: Filming the Unfilmable

    How do documentary filmmakers tackle the most taboo of subjects and tell stories that can’t be shared openly, while respecting the ethical, legal and personal sensitivities of the people involved? This session will look at radical and hybrid formats in bringing such subjects to screen, and explore the innovative techniques used by directors working in film and TV.

    This session will be BSL interpreted.

    Reconstructing Utoya directed by Carl Javér, is screening at the festival.

  • Inside National Geographic

    National Geographic’s bold and distinctive premium content strategy is resonating with audiences around the world. In this session, the UK-based commissioning team presents case studies of recent successes that spark viewer curiosity, break new storytelling ground and support the National Geographic Society’s core mission of science, exploration, conservation and education. Hear what it takes to work with this year’s BAFTA and Academy Award winning channel in the era of ‘fewer, bigger, better’ programmes.

    Supported by National Geographic

  • The Light Cinema Free Screen

    Discover our outdoor free screen where we’ll showcase shorts and feature documentaries from around the world. Situated off Howard Street, this is available for the enjoyment of the general public as well as the festival delegates. During the day, we will show shorts covering a variety of themes, and in the evening we will show a feature film. On Thursday, the slots will be as follows:

    12:00 - Made In Yorkshire 1
    A selection of films featuring work by local directors and producers.

    13:00 - Global Citizens 1
    These films showcase internationality, incorporating filmmakers from all over the world.

    14:00 - Access All Areas 1
    These films attempt to increase visibility of disability on screen.

    15:00 - Queer Perspectives 1
    A series of films by and about individuals who identify as LGBTQ+, examining the importance of identity and community in the face of oppression.

    16:00 - Dazed
    A series of shorts from Dazed, covering contemporary experiences.

    17:00 - VICE 1
    A selection of cutting-edge documentaries provided by VICE.

    18:00 - Women on Screen 1
    A focus on the remarkable work, stories, and talents of women from around the globe.

    19:00 - The Great Pretenders
    Set at TribFest, a tribute festival in Yorkshire, this feature length documentary looks at tribute bands and the individuals behind them.

  • Rodney P talks Bass, Beats and Docs

    Since forming the seminal hip-hop group London Posse in 1987, Rodney P has been widely regarded as the Godfather of British hip-hop, and has collaborated with a diverse range of artists including Omar, Roni Size, Nitin Sawhney and Björk.

    More recently Rodney has authored a number of documentaries exploring both British and global music culture, including The Hip Hop World News, The Last Pirates – Britain’s Rebel DJs and Bass, Beats and Bars - The Story of Grime, offering an alternative historical perspective to recent music phenomena.

    Rodney, along with Creative Director Jaimie D'Cruz (Acme Films), will discuss his musical and documentary career and future plans.

    EARLY BIRD TICKETS ON SALE NOW FOR A LIMITED PERIOD - £8 (discount will be applied at checkout)

    Please contact us if you have any questions about access at this event:
    E: access [at] sheffdocfest.com
    T: +44 (0)114 276 5141

  • Sumercé + Q&A

  • The Border Fence

  • Meet the Distributors

    A chance to find out more about how distributors handle a film’s delivery to the audience by managing and marketing its journey through the various exhibition platforms. In this session, we invite executives from different distribution companies to introduce themselves, explain how they work with filmmakers and comment on the kinds of documentaries they are seeking with reference to recent examples. Following the presentations, there will be time for filmmakers to connect with distributors and exchange business cards.